Kaliningrad Governor Alikhanov promised proposals for a response to Lithuania this week. They are already being worked out, the governor of the region said. Since June 18, Lithuania has banned the transit of sanctioned goods between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia ” alt=”Alikhanov promised to submit proposals for a response to Lithuania this week” />
This week Kaliningrad will send Moscow proposals for retaliatory measures to Lithuania in connection with the restriction of the transit of certain types of cargo from other Russian regions, said the governor of the region Anton Alikhanov on the TV channel “Russia 1”.
“Proposals regarding possible response measures [to Lithuania] are already being formed by us, and we will definitely send them to our federal colleagues. We agreed to do this this week, — Alikhanov said (TASS quote).
He also expressed the hope that through such “tough negotiations” Russia will be able to ensure that the EU and Lithuania return to fulfilling their international obligations and lift restrictions on transit. Otherwise, they will face the consequences of retaliatory measures, Alikhanov stressed.
Prior to this, the governor said that the response measures to Lithuania that Russia could take could be varied, and their consequences for the country's economy— essential.
Since June 18, Lithuania has banned the transit of sanctioned goods between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia through its territory. Alikhanov said that the restrictions apply to building materials, cement, metals and other products. Commenting on this decision of the Lithuanian authorities, he said that, according to preliminary estimates, the ban will affect from 20 to 40% of the items that were transported between the Kaliningrad region and other regions of Russia. At the same time, Alikhanov noted that the delivery of goods will be arranged by sea, no shortage is expected in the region.
The governor called what is happening a violation of the international obligations of Lithuania and the EU to ensure the free transit of goods. He proposed, as a response, to ban the labeling of imported foreign alcohol on the territory of the Baltic countries, which would cause damage to these states in the amount of €300 million a year.
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The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said it had imposed a ban based on sanctions imposed by the European Union. “Lithuania has not imposed any unilateral, individual or additional restrictions on this transit. Lithuania consistently applies EU sanctions, which have different transitional periods and deadlines,— said in the department.
At the same time, on April 8, the European Union, as part of the fifth package of sanctions against Russia, excluded road transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia from restrictions.
On June 20, the Russian Foreign Ministry protested about the actions of Vilnius and demanded that the restrictions be lifted immediately. The Kremlin called this decision illegal. On June 21, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned EU Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer and warned of retaliatory measures if these restrictions were not lifted. “We demanded the immediate restoration of the normal functioning of the Kaliningrad transit. Otherwise, retaliatory measures will follow, — The ministry said in a statement.
After a meeting at the Foreign Ministry, Ederer assured that the transit of goods that do not fall under EU restrictive measures “works normally”, and asked not to aggravate the situation and resolve the issue through diplomacy, stressing that there is no talk of a blockade.
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